The air was cool and the night sky was slowly filling with clouds preparing for the thunderstorm to come the next morning. As I was drifting off to sleep, quickly I was awakened by a horrid wretching sound. Already confused by the sleepy state I was in, I jolted up in my bed and looked around. Finding nothing out of sorts I looked out the window. There I saw a car parked in the middle of the street with its blinkers on. A few seconds later I realized the back door that I could see of the car was open and a young woman sat there on her knees, barefoot and in a tight mini dress, vomiting in the street.
With her stood two men and another woman. One man was dressed nice but in a casual sort of way. The other had on a tee shirt and baggy pants that hung around his knees, his plaid boxers showing. The other woman stood out in contrast to the men. She had on a tight black dress that would have ended where her thighs began except for the sheer skirt attached that flowed “modestly” down to her ankles. Her high heels kept her glued where she stood next to the car scrolling on her phone.
After a few minutes of the poor girl heaving her evening back out onto the pavement, one of the men picked up her limp body in an attempt to bring her over to the sidewalk and out of the road. The one woman stayed where she was looking at her phone as if none of it was happening. The other man got in the car and drove away. Soon, the horribly drunk girl began yelling at her friends. Unsure of what to do, the man holding her began to yell back asking “why don’t you want me to help you?!”
Sitting in my bed on that Tuesday night I wondered what to do. Should I have called the police? Should I have gone to help? Should I have just gone back to sleep? Before I could take any action at all, the three people were gone and all that remained was the splatter in the road which was once bottles of alcohol. I was assuming she had been drinking yes, but I’ve seen too many drunk college students to count and I’ve heard that same sound which woke me up that night. It’s different than if they were sick, or if they even had food poisoning. The sound of drunk vomiting contains remnants of regret and shame. You can hear it echoing no matter how large of a space they are in. The middle of a road for example.
I could talk about the negatives of under-aged drinking, but as far as I know, those four people were perfectly of or above the age 21. It reminds me, however, of when I lived in a dorm. One girl’s friend invited over some of her own friends and they were staying in her room. They went out and partied. When they got back to the room, her friend’s friend, someone she barely knew, threw up on her bed. So, while that drunk girl was taken somewhere else, where I didn’t know, to sleep, the girl whose bed it was had to spend the whole night cleaning her sheets and all around her bed.
I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know if the United States should lower the drinking age to make people accustomed to drinking alcohol earlier. I don’t know if they should make the punishment harsher in hopes of people stopping. I don’t think people would stop. I don’t know if people just don’t know control. What I do know is that people are making fools of themselves and those being respectful and responsible around them are dealing with the drunk decisions these other people are making. That is what bothers me.
What if the girl in the street had been alone? She could have been hit by a car. She could have died driving drunk trying to get home. She was lucky she had three friends with her who took care of her. What if the girl in the dorm had been alone? She could have choked in her sleep on her own vomit. She also could have never made it home. Take away the reliable people and so many people wouldn’t be here.
To those going out and getting stupid drunk, thank the friends who went with you. Stop getting stupid drunk or continue, but just think about what could happen if the ones you rely on get tired of it. I’m not saying don’t drink. I’m saying be glad you have people who love you. I’m saying you should love them back and think before you take that “just one more” shot. Are you going to make them carry you home again?